We're Seeing Double Thanks to the New Mirror Trend on TikTok — What Is It?

Katherine Stinson - Author

Apr. 10 2023, Published 7:04 p.m. ET

A woman holding a mirror.
Source: Getty Images

Another day, another new trend on TikTok — thankfully, the one we're about to talk about doesn't involve a feud, a beef, or a feuding beef that somehow involves Taylor Swift.

Now, this time around, the mirror trend is all the rage on TikTok (this trend is NOT the same as the wipe it trend, FYI). So what is the mirror trend, exactly?

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The TikTok mirror trends starts with the user placing something on one side of the mirror, but covering it on the mirror with a piece of paper.

The thought behind the mirror trend being, if you place the paper in front of the object, you shouldn't be able to see said object in the mirror's reflection, right? Actually no, thanks to science! So how does the science of the mirror trend work? Here's what we know.

The TikTok mirror trend in action.
Source: TikTok/@baileycaviness12

The mirror trend in action.

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The TikTok mirror trend, explained.

To explain the magic behind the TikTok mirror trend, let's head back to science class, courtesy of TikTok user @matt.math (sadly Bill Nye could not be reached for additional comments on TikTok's scientific discovery).

Matt explains in one TikTok that the mirror actually isn't doing the heavy lifting in the trend. Say what now?

He says in his TikTok mirror trend explainer, "You're not changing what the mirror knows. The mirror doesn't know anything! It's actually about perspective and what the mirror can 'see.'"

We will not name the cursed toy from the '90s that Matt uses in his mirror trend video to demonstrate. (If you know, you know.)

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Basically, it's all about being at the correct spot on the side of the mirror where your eyes can latch on to the object in question on the left and right side of the mirror's reflection.

As Matt notes in the video where he marks where he actually sees part of the cursed toy's foot on the left side, it's way too far away from where it appears to be in the mirror's reflection. Just like life, the TikTok mirror trend is all about perspective!

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A clever TikTok user actually proved Matt's point about the mirror trend being all about perspective when he challenged Matt to place the cursed toy in a box against the mirror, instead of just against a sheet of paper.

As Matt points out, his eyes can't spot the toy on the other side of the mirror because there isn't ever a clear straight line going from the toy to the mirror, like there was when the object was only separated in the mirror's reflection by a piece of paper.

The only clear solution to the mirror trend's one loophole, as Matt points out, is by introducing a second mirror into the mix! So basically, it's all about the line of sight, and what your mind's eye can register from its perspective.

Now if only Bill could do an episode or explainer about the TikTok mirror trend! To quote him ... science rules.

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